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Made in Chesterfield festival returns to connect manufacturing and engineering businesses with next generation of employees

Made in Chesterfield festival returns to connect manufacturing and engineering businesses with next generation of employees

The annual Made in Chesterfield festival, which aims to get more local young people interested in careers in businesses operating in the town’s engineering, manufacturing, property and construction businesses has returned for the eighth consecutive year.

Co-ordinated by Destination Chesterfield and Direct Education Business Partnership and sponsored by the Chesterfield College Group, the 2022 Made in Chesterfield festival was officially launched at Chesterfield College.

Speaking at the event, Reece Berry (20), Software Engineer Apprentice at Weightron Bilancia and a former pupil of St Mary’s Catholic High School, said:

“Young people need to be aware of apprenticeship opportunities in the engineering and manufacturing sector. They offer brilliant careers for young people.

“I chose to go down the apprenticeship route as I was passionate about IT and software development. I had the option to go to university, but I wanted to work in a real, live environment to gain a mixture of skills that would benefit me in multiple ways.

“Weightron Bilanciai is providing me with the training, support and skills I require to undertake the challenge of becoming a highly skilled software engineer and developer, this has given me the chance to explore and learn areas of IT I never knew about.”

During the four-week festival, which runs until Friday 2 December, young people from Chesterfield’s secondary schools will be introduced to the varied science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers available in local businesses through a number of workplace visits and events.

Performance vehicle specialist Scooby Clinic, engineering business MSE Hiller and manufacturer United Cast Bar are amongst a number of businesses who are inviting young people to their workplaces during the campaign.

The annual festival is playing a key role in helping address the technical skills shortage amongst businesses locally. According to the UK Commission for Employment & Skills, 43 per cent of STEM vacancies nationally are hard to fill, mainly because of a shortage of applicants with the required skills and experience.

Since launching in 2014, Made in Chesterfield has introduced more than 3,500 young people to the jobs and careers available within local businesses operating in the STEM sector.

Ivan Fomin, Managing Director at MSE Hiller and Destination Chesterfield board member responsible for manufacturing and engineering in the borough, commented on being part of the annual initiative:

“It’s fantastic for us to be able to showcase our industry and business to young people and encourage them to consider a career path that may not have been on their mind beforehand. We have been involved with Made in Chesterfield since the campaign began and it has helped us attract young people into the business in both apprenticeship roles and work experience placements.

“Each year, Made in Chesterfield makes a real difference to local businesses, education providers and young people. I am delighted to see it return once again.”

Julie Richards, Principal and CEO of Chesterfield College Group explains,

“It’s vitally important we continue our support for the Made in Chesterfield initiative. We are proud to play our part in the growth of engineering, science, technology and manufacturing locally. The increasing development of STEM in Chesterfield is something we have mirrored in our curriculum with investment in the latest technologies, such as 3D printing and augmented reality, all with a focus on sustainability.

“Partnering with initiatives such as Made in Chesterfield and working with local employers and schools, our core focus is to provide a clear, aspirational pathway for the next generation of local workforce be that through full time study, apprenticeships, T-Levels or higher education. Our mission of inspiring futures and changing lives is brought into clear focus through working with Made in Chesterfield and we are delighted to once again host this year’s launch event.”

Made in Chesterfield is delivered in association with the Chesterfield College Group and with support from Chesterfield Borough Council, Derbyshire North Careers Hub, MSE Hiller, United Cast Bar Ltd, and NatWest.

To find out more about Made in Chesterfield and how you can get involved, please visit:

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